Friday, August 31, 2012

Previewing: Detroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox

I've read a lot of people currently split on the Tigers. They were just swept on the road by the Kansas City Royals, but Detroit trails the Chicago White Sox in the Central division by just 3 games.

How important is this series?

I think it's very important to take atleast 2 of the 3 games. Losing 2 of 3 would put the Tigers 4 games behind the White Sox with a month left in the season, while they could make up those 4 games, it would be tough this late in the season.

What are the pitching matchups this weekend and who do I think has the advantage?

Friday - Doug Fister (7-8 3.67 ERA) vs Jake Peavy (9-9 3.09 ERA). Chicago hasn't faced Doug Fister with the Tigers yet, and the Tigers who have struggled in the past vs Peavy, have done well against him this season.

Advantage: Toss up. This could be the difference between a possible sweep for Detroit, or getting 2 of 3 at the most, in my opinion.

Saturday - Max Scherzer (14-6 4.13 ERA) vs Francisco Liriano (5-10 5.09 ERA, 2-0 4.26 ERA with the White Sox). Scherzer since April has pitched very well, and Liriano has done alright since joining the White Sox. Scherzer in 11 starts career vs Chicago has a 2.85 ERA, however, Liriano has struggled in his career against the Tigers. In 21 games (15 starts) he has a 5.69 ERA.

Advantage: Tigers

Sunday - Justin Verlander (12-7 2.80 ERA) vs Chris Sale (15-5 2.81 ERA). Verlander is the 2011 MVP and Cy Young winner, and Chris Sale is having a terrific season in his first season as a starting pitcher. Something to keep an eye on is in Sale's last start, his fastball velocity was the 2nd lowest average of the season for him, and he didn't pitch very well in that start. There are concerns he may have a tired arm. For me, that is the difference here, what Sale are people going to see?

Advantage: Tigers

Something else to keep on for this series is coming into tonight's game, but Detroit and Chicago have had their offenses in a bit of a slump.

I think the Tigers will take 2 of 3, and have a chance to sweep. Both teams are using their best pitchers though, so it'll be an exciting series.

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